As a single woman, spending time with my husband, then boyfriend, was very important. So important in fact that I would schedule time specifically to see him. I would make an effort to find fun or romantic places we could go. I would spend hours priming and even bought new dresses to impress him with. Although he is very low maintenance, I wanted our time to be special and memorable. There was such a desire to leave a lasting impression on him that I would go to great lengths to achieve it. He also would go out of his way, but I was the better planner. Beside that he paid 100% of the time so I liked to take the responsibility of coming up with the outing.
That had me thinking about how to date my husband. While it would be nice to keep the same euphoric energy when it comes to prepping and planning for dates, I just do not think it is reasonable. To be honest during the dating season of your relationship, your goal is to put your best face forward and to create a bond with someone who is naturally a stranger. Once you're married that bond is already there and it is a matter of allowing it to mature. With that I believe that your dating rituals should mature as well.
It's no longer about going to the hottest restaurant or planning some huge event, although those things will happen, it is more about just spending time together. Between work schedules, children and the monotony that marriage can bring, it is nice to set away time to connect with your husband and to see where their heart and desires are. People change and often couples will grow apart for this reason. How many divorce cases are caused by irreconcilable differences? They are countless. Many unhappily married people will tell you that either they or their spouse have changed and that the connection they once had is now gone.
I refuse to be another victim of divorce. My desire is to continue to get to know my husband and grow with him. The Bible says in Amos 3: 3,
"Do two people walk hand in hand if they are not going to the same place?"
Other translations say,
"Can two walk together without they are agreed?"
How can you agree with someone you do not know? It is impossible to not walk hand in hand with your husband and expect to find your hearts in the same place. With that said I wanted to share some simple tips on how to start or restart your marriage on the right foot with dates:
* Pick one night a week that the two of you will have dinner alone -without the kids, TV or any other distraction. That may mean getting a babysitter for a few hours, feeding the kids early or going out even if it just to a fast food place. It is not important where you go or what you eat, it's about spending time just with your husband.
* Take a walk together after dinner or early morning. Use that time to encourage your husband and to hear what is on his heart. You can also use this time to pray for one another.
* Save up money to buy tickets to see his favorite team play. Surprise him with the tickets that week. Even if you hate sports like I do this will speak volumes in terms of him feeling appreciated and thought about.
* Give him sex. No matter how busy you are you must keep your sex life intact. Sex literally is an emotional expression for him. Once a week or month, outside of your normal routine, make it extra special by wearing a playful outfit, lighting candles and really letting it know that you need and want it.
* Turn running an errand into a date. Make a shopping trip or even dentist visit into a date by going to lunch or getting an ice cream cone afterwards.
No matter what you do, the point in dating is to connect with your husband. Most men (and women) feel under appreciated, misunderstood and not listened to. Do not let large blocks of time pass without sharing your feelings or letting him share his. Do not use the time to just discuss problems, but also dreams and hopes. Share what God has been doing in your life on a personal level.
Even if your husband is not the type to really open up, encourage the dialogue by giving him a high praise when he shares anything. Let him know that you are a safe place for him to share his thoughts with without judgment or fear of vulnerability. Tell him what great things he is doing at work and at home. Even if it is awkward at first the more effort you put into it the easier it will become and the better your marriage will be for it.
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